With the regular rugby union league season over, Keighley travelled to Widnes to play in the first round of the Papa John’s Community Cup.

But the West Yorkshire side’s journey in the national competition is over before it had barely begun, as they lost 24-10 in the Counties One Championship section of the competition.

Keighley began the first half of this last-32 clash with a strong wind at their backs and used the conditions well to keep Widnes pinned in their own half for the first 30 minutes of the game.

A fine 50-22 kick from fly half Fin Meegan just four minutes in gave Keighley a line out in the opposition 22 but strong defence from the home team kept Keighley at bay.

A Keighley scrum within the 22 then led to a scrum penalty but Keighley turned down the three points, hoping to turn their early dominance into a try.

However, the ensuing scrum came to nothing and Widnes cleared their lines.

On 10 minutes a break by Alfie Seeley lead to the tackler not releasing and this time Meegan took the three points on offer to stick the visitors in front.

Keighley, led by skipper Tom Whyte, continued to dominate both possession and territory but a combination of powerful defence, a couple of forward passes and poor handling stifled all of their efforts.

Keighley News: Tom Whyte was unable to lead his side into the last-16 of the competition, despite them dominating early on at Widnes.Tom Whyte was unable to lead his side into the last-16 of the competition, despite them dominating early on at Widnes. (Image: John Ashton.)

It was not until midway through the first half that Widnes had possession of the ball in Keighley territory but this was quickly turned over and Keighley were once again on the offensive.

Again, Keighley turned down opportunities to take three points, either kicking to touch or taking a scrum, but all their efforts to go for a try came to nothing against the well-organised Widnes defence.

The game then changed in dramatic fashion on the half-hour mark.

Keighley were penalised on the Widnes 22-metre line, and rather than kicking for touch, a quick tap and go form the hosts led to a fine back row interchange that released the speedy winger Jack Krause.

He streaked away to score from 50 metres out in the left corner, with the missed conversion meaning that Widnes led 5-3.

The visitors were immediately back on the offensive but could find no way through the home team’s defence.

A long-range penalty effort from Meegan fell just short before Widnes again took the ball deep into Keighley territory.

That to a lineout for the visitors deep inside their own half and while relieving kick took play to 30 metres, the Widnes line out was quickly moved to centre field.

From there, man of the match Jamie Patient took a perfect line to break through the defence and score under the posts.

Widnes fly half Kevin Leadbetter converted that try to give Widnes a 12-3 half-time lead.

The second half started badly for Keighley after their kick-off went directly into touch.

From the ensuing Widnes scrum, the ball was moved quickly to the left wing, where outside centre Patient reeled in a suspiciously forward-looking pass and eluded the final defender to score his second and the home team’s third try in the corner.

That was superbly converted to give the home side a 17-3 lead, which they stretched further less than 15 minutes after the break.

After a period that saw a scrappy midfield battle with no real chances, a left-field break from the Widnes backs released Liam Lawton to score under the posts, with his try converted to put the hosts well clear at 24-3 in front.

Keighly came back into the game and dominated the final 25 minutes, but their only reward came from a break by Lucas Uren on the hour mark, as he scored to the left of the posts.

Meegan converted that try with ease to take his side’s score into double figures.

The final 20 minutes proved to be a frustrating time for the visitors, who continued to dominate possession and territory, only for a series of handling errors and penalties for holding on to kill almost all of their attacks.

In the end, Widnes claimed a deserved 24-10 victory, putting themselves into a last-16 clash away to Sunderland.